December 15, 2017

The technology industry is under broad political attack

I apologize for posting a December downer, but this needs to be said.

The technology industry is under attack:

These attacks:

You’ve surely noticed some of these attacks. But you may not have noticed just how many different attacks and criticisms there are, on multiple levels.

1. Concerns about jobs, disruption, gentrification and so on are a Really Big Deal, causing large swaths of the population to regard technology as bad for their pocketbooks. In particular:

People who believe that technologists harm them are a major political force.

2. The technology industry is under considerable legislative, regulatory, and judicial pressure. For starters:

Complicating things further, these challenges take different forms in different countries around the world.

Also:

I could keep going much longer than that. Government relations are a major, major issue for tech.

3. It is traditional to claim that advances in communication/media technologies will wreck society.

This era brings similar concerns.

I.e., the apocalypse is imminent, and tech is what will bring it on.

The most compelling version of that argument I’ve seen is Jean Twenge’s claims that there’s a teen mental health crisis perfectly matched in time to the rise of the smartphone. And to make any such claim seem particularly damning, please recall: Social media and gaming companies are clearly trying to foster a form of addiction in — well, in their users.

Current concern may ebb just like previous generations’ did. But for now, they’re yet another aspect of a threat-filled environment.

4. What worries me most is this: The United States and other countries face relentless attacks on education, educators, science, scientists, and rationality itself. And there are no obvious limits to how bad these can get. China’s Cultural Revolution and the Cambodian genocide happened during my lifetime. Stalin and Hitler ruled during my parents’. All four took particular aim at people like us.

Bottom line: EVERYBODY in the technology industry should be or quickly become politically aware. We have an awful lot of politics to deal with.

Comments

One Response to “The technology industry is under broad political attack”

  1. Paweł Matysiak on December 20th, 2017 5:49 am

    Calling Uber or Airbnb a “sharing economy” company is simply wrong.

Leave a Reply




Feed: DBMS (database management system), DW (data warehousing), BI (business intelligence), and analytics technology Subscribe to the Monash Research feed via RSS or email:

Login

Search our blogs and white papers

Monash Research blogs

User consulting

Building a short list? Refining your strategic plan? We can help.

Vendor advisory

We tell vendors what's happening -- and, more important, what they should do about it.

Monash Research highlights

Learn about white papers, webcasts, and blog highlights, by RSS or email.